tv Face the Nation CBS November 30, 2014 8:30am-9:01am PST
>> o'donnell: today on "face the nation." officer darren wilson resigns after the grand jury clears the white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager as protests continue in ferguson. we'll talk to the attorney for michael brown, benjamin crump. violence and confrontation swept across the country we'll talk about the impact on race relations in america. town the congressional to-do list. can anything get done in washington. talk to two incoming senators, thom tillis of north carolina and democrat gary peters of michigan. and the first major interview with the man the pope picked to lead catholic church in chicago, archbishop blase cupich.
our panel of analysts, 60 years of news because this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs good morning again we start today with the continued unrest in ferguson, missouri. police officer darren wilson was cleared of wrongdoing after fatally shooting 18-year-old michael brown. since the grand jury decision monday, protests in ferguson turned violent and there have been 126 arrests in estimated 60 buildings were looted, vandalized or burnt down. late yesterday officer wilson resigned from the ferguson police department as he wrote, it was my hope to continue in police work but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. it is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. reaction this for what is next for the brown family we're joined by their attorney, benjamin crump. what do you think officer wilson resignation will do, if anything to, heal the community?
>> well, norah, this is not unexpected news, i think for the community or family of michael brown, junior. we always felt officer wilson would do what is in his best interest both personally and professionally. we think he would not be very effective for the ferguson police department nor ferguson community if he had continued to be a police officer in that community. so we think that the community all expected this. >> o'donnell: will it change at all your decision to move forward with additional legal action? >> certainly not. the family greatly wanted to have the killer of their unarmed son held accountable. they will look at every legal avenue, they are still troubled by the things that happened in the grand jury proceeding as well as officer darren wilson
statements when he said that his conscious was clear that he would do the same thing over again. that suggests very cold, if one of those things where you would hope that even if a police officer felt they had to use lethal force that they would have some consideration. i don't think officer wilson had any consideration for his children and wonder if he had a conscience that's troubling to them. we want police officers that do have a conscience in our community note police officers that are cold as ice and see our children at demons and criminals. >> o'donnell: what significant action will you pursue on behalf of michael brown and his family? >> norah, the family will pursue all the legal avenues, potential civil wrongful death lawsuit as
well as look at pushing forward with legislation for michael brown law working with the national bar association, naacp and others to have it where it is required that every police officer and every american city is required to have video body cameras so it will be transparent we won't see this play out over and over whether it's new york or louisiana or texas, to see young people, especially young black and brown boys being killed at the hands of the people to protect and serve them and never held accountable due to this process, this grand jury process that needs to be indicted. it's broken. it continues to yield same results over and over again where they kill our children and never held accountable. we have to change that entire process to have special prosecutor appointed and justice scalia spoke to that and the
supreme court decision what we saw happen with justice scalia and supreme court said the function of the grand jury was. >> o'donnell: mr. crump it was extraordinary to see the grand jury in action and what happened afterwards. release of thousands of pages of documents and evidence from that grand jury, if you look at the front pages of the "new york times" today and the "washington post" today, they did analysis of all those thousands of pages of documents and they put together questions about whether michael brown was charging the officer or whether he was giving up and surrendering. have you seen these documents. what does the family think happened on august 9 this? >> they think the child was running from the police and they thought that he was giving up. when they look at released
documents, shows you just how partial this prosecutor's office was. look at the way they question the people who came out and said that michael brown -- it was the police officers fault compared to the people who supported the police officer and especially the shooter, darren wilson. they never cross examined him. this killer of unarmed person has never been cross examined and it is so unbelievable to all lawyers you talk to that you wouldn't even ask him one tough question. said that this transcript first year law student would have done tougher cross examination to the killer of unarmed kid in broad daylight. to mistrust that many in the african american communities all across america have with this
process and the local law enforcement. >> o'donnell: i'm no lawyer but i've heard the phrase, the grand jury can indict a ham sandwich we looked at the numbers, numbers compiled by the bureau of justice statistics show in 2010 prosecutors tried 162,000 federal cases and grand juries declined to return indictment just 11 of them. i know how you feel that this process was broken. in this particular case, would you have preferred a trial and what if he had been acquitted? what if officer wilson bad acquitted? >> people can accept that nor, norah, when you have set as the foundation for the american justice system, trial by jury, where it's all transparent, all the evidence and witnesses are cross examined and vetted. people think that is fair. people think that is impartial.
when you have this secret grand jury proceeding where there is only one lawyer in the room and that lawyer is local prosecutor who has a same bee i don't know i can relationship with the local police department and local police officer has no relationship, no regard for this young person of color then you see the results all the time coming out with swept under the rug and we're told to just go on and get over it. where we can't continue get over it these are our children that are being killed. the statistics are alarming. young black man between ages of 15-19 said to be likely to be killed by 21% more than anybody else. they are stopped three times by police more than anybody else. we have to get police officers who are not color blind like the shooter of michael brown but police officers who care about trying to have a relationship with the community not send the
citizens of low income communities or minority communities as demons, as criminals. that citizens that we all have to be together that we're all in the same boat and we have vested interest. unless we that have this dialogue we're going to continue to see this happen over and over again and michael brown and thousand of people of colors crying say we have too fix this system. >> o'donnell: benjamin crump, good to see you. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, norah. >> today we should note that 120 miles seven day march of protesters continues from the site from michael brown was shot on canfield avenue to missouri governor's mansion in jefferson city. more on ferguson state of race relations here in the united states we're joined by james peterson from lehigh university he is here in studio and by
ta-nehisi coates of the atlantic joins us from new york. let me ask you, the president of the naacp was leading this march has compared it to the 1965 selma to montgomery march. will there be change? >> i think ultimately we have to remain hopeful about having some change around some of the things that mr. crump was talking about. maybe this body camera law, maybe some progress, revising, rethinking the grand jury process might be useful around these kind of cases. but i don't want to compare what's going on now to the civil rights movement. the civil rights movement was its own awesome history and impact on american society. sometimes we get so caught up in what the movement was that it obscures our capacity to understand the work that we have to do now. what is going on now across this nation, young people, people from all different backgrounds who are organizing peacefully and protesting peacefully around these particular issues there has to be certain set of
outcomes of what is happening now. we can't get too confused and confounded by what is happening in the past. we have to be forward thinking. >> ta-nehisi coates, we have the first black president, first attorney general, heard president obama decision saying we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury's to make. do you agree with that? >> well, we have no choice but to accept it was the grand jury's to make. we live in society where there is a process, being law-abiding people we have to follow it. going back to earlier question of whether we can expect change. i have to say i'm a little skeptical of that. i think police departments in this country represent a larger relationship between american society and black communities. so the question to me is, what is ferguson, town of manage son, black population of ferguson what is their relationship with the community around it. you get the conversation point of which there is lethal confrontation between michael brown and officer wilson.
why was officer wilson stopping michael brown for walking down the street. we have studies amount of policing in ferguson how that relates to how -- >> o'donnell: my understanding -- he had just received over the radio the report that there had been a robbery and there was description of a suspect and that when michael brown walked by he fit that description and that's why he stopped him on that particular case. >> some of that is unclear. >> one of the things walking in the middle of the street he hadn't put that together yet. >> well it's confusing because officer wilson and grand jury says he connects those two things. chief police of ferguson did not connect those two things. this is why you have to have a transparent trial by jury. i agree with ta-nehisi coates that we can't be too hopeful about change because of the structural thing in place. the long hard work that has to happen which he's talking about in terms of police stops and
think of racial bias. >> o'donnell: i know ferguson is 67% black. the police force is 53 officers only three of them are black. why? i went looked across the country. this is so common in fact in three-quarters of u.s. cities there are higher percentage of white officers than of course in the population. is this fundamental to what is at stake in terms of distrust of the communities and police officers? >> yes. there's a part of it that diversify the police department i don't think will automatically. there is district right outside of washington, d.c. where you guys are, prince georges county one of the most brutal police departments in the country, majority of black town, majority black affluent population there. black cops can be brutal, too. i don't think we should get blinded to that. it's a step forward but not a cure all. >> again we're talking about
racial bias here. unfortunately it affects everyone, the consequences of it are oftentimes awful. that's why we have, again, long haul here. there has to be way which we can train officers of the law to think less about using lethal force, to understand how bias shapes. how they're going to interact and train them as such without that overhaul we're not going to see the change that needs to hatch out of this particular situation. >> o'donnell: something you wrote this week, clearly cannot be said that violence and nonviolence are tools that violence like nonviolence sometimes works. taken together property damage and looting has been the most effective tools of social progress for white people in america. what did you mean by that? >> just american history. you can take from a broader perspective, people have this idea that the american
revolution like tea party was not -- very, very violent. enslavement which is at the roots of this country, black population of this country was enslaved longer than it's been free. that is basis of who we are. from native americans, that is who we are. talk about all the things that we love about america, democracy, freedom, i don't think that we should lose sight of the foundation of which those things were built. they were not built -- that is not to say that looting is right, that looting is correct. but i think that when the government, which often acts violently towards african americans, about -- we have right to be skeptical of that. >> o'donnell: i want to end on this photo the 12-year-old, davonta hart at ferguson protest rally in portland, oregon. you can see this officer,
sergeant who is white hugging this child. it has been shared more than 150,000 times on facebook. what does that say to you in that photo and how it's been shared so many times on facebook? >> i think the photo shows us that people are very hopeful and maybe a little bit naive about a better relationship between the african american community and police forces that are charged with protecting them. unfortunately the photo op not what is going to get it done. it's going to take a long hard work of understand can how racial bias informs certain kinds of decisions, the piece that you were talking about law enforcement overall in grand jury, talk about structural changes. the photo is beautiful. it reflects some home about certain situations but we don't need to be concerned about hope as nitty-gritty getting down to the work of changing these systems. >> o'donnell: dr. james peterson, ta-nehisi coates, good to have both of you here. thank you. >> thank you. >> o'donnell: we'll be back in a minute.
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>> o'donnell: we're back to talk politics and busy agenda facing the new republican controlled congress. two incoming senators elect, thom tillis of north carolina is with me here in studio. democrat gary peters of michigan joins us from detroit. first of all congratulations to both of you on your wins thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> o'donnell: senator tillis, i was there in north carolina with you, you won what was called the most expensive senate race in the country, more than $100 million. what do you think people of your state got for that? >> i think what they got is a chance to see different leadership try to get things done in washington. to get washington functioning again. working across the aisle, getting the economy back on track, worried about our state and security. i think the american people did not give republicans a mandate they gave us a chance to lead, i'm glad to be part of that.
>> o'donnell: they didn't give you mandate you've got to show compromise, what issue can you work with democrats on? >> i think there's any number of things. in fact senator peters, he's got a passion around michigan like i have a passion around north carolina, we've seen a lot of manufacturing jobs go overseas. we've seen our economies not quite get back on track in terms of job creation. i think there is a number of opportunities for republicans and democrats to work together. >> o'donnell: senator peters are you hopeful you can compromise with republicans? >> well, i think we have to. certainly was the clear message that we got from this last election about people wanting to see washington work. having people come together and find that middle ground to deal with the very tough problems that we're facing as a country. i certainly am encouraged and senator tillis talking 'brought manufacturing something that is very important in the state of michigan as it is north carolina. i'm sure that we can find ways to make sure we're getting people back to work really creating the good paying middle
class jobs which are so essential. right now a middle class that feels squeezed falling behind. we have to deal with it in washington. only way we're going to deal with it if we come together find common ground. >> o'donnell: there are issues that you say you want to find common ground. congress will start with the confer nation battle. president has two open posts in his cabinet, not only for the attorney general but also for defense secretary. do you think there will be confirmation battle over president obama's new choice for those positions? >> the president puts forth someone that will work for both sides. a great opportunity out of the gate for the president to identify consensus nominees that we can all get around and support. those are very important jobs. they need to be filled. but they need to be filled with someone who can take in to account both sides of the equation. both ends of pennsylvania avenue. >> o'donnell: senator-elect peters, as it appears this week that defense secretary hagel was pretty much fired from the
defense department, are you concerned about how pentagon is being led and the fight against isis? >> well, certainly isis is a significant threat that we have to deal with, we've got to make sure that we have leadership at the department of defense that is focused on that, that the white house can work with and so i look forward in the confirmation process to find that right secretary who is going to be focused on that issue, also concerned about nuclearal bigs of iran becoming very dangerous world that we've got to have defense department that is focused on these new threats and understand the significance of it. that's why i think this confirmation process is going to be so important because we have to stand together, congress and president, this country is stronger when we are all united as one and certainly department of defense has to have the ability to work with everybody in the unified fashion. >> o'donnell: to be specific do you think, i'll start with you senator tillis, the president needs a new use of force authorization in order to fight isis?
>> i think it would probably be wise that you move forward again. the president and the congress need to find opportunity to show some way of coming together and i think that would be a show of good faith from the president and i think it would give congress more confidence they're part of the process. >> you would support one? >> yes. >> o'donnell: senator-elect peters would you support new authorization of force against isis? >> i think it's essential that congress come to the fable. we have not had classified briefing for quite some time now. i look forward to get back to washington to have these needs to be intimately involved in these decisions. certainly constitutional requirement and i think it is absolutely essential that we come together to show strength in the world community. we are stronger as acron tree when the president and congress are united i believe that we have to be a key player in that process. >> o'donnell: the issue of i am breaks because the executive action on immigration senator-elect tillis your party
has opposed the president's actions. where then do you expect congress to act? do you expect now republican-led senate will act and finally act on issue that can work together with the senate? >> i'm afraid that the president's unilateral action is going to set us back. i believe what we should do first and foremost is seal the border. the republicans and democrats have both failed on this issue for february decades one of the reasons why, i don't think we've stabilized the problem by taking credible steps to seal the border. then let's discuss what we do with the population who is illegally present. we can complicate, end up debate that could be avoided. >> o'donnell: senator-elect peters, you are a member of the house, difficulty getting some agreement with the senate on issue of immigration. >> it is a source of constant frustration to me because we do have bipartisan agreement. i support the senate immigration reform bill which passed on a bipartisan basis.
we have organizations like united states chamber of commerce that support immigration reform bill. 17 republicans including folks that mr. rubio, mr. mccain in states that are obviously intimately involved in the immigration issue we have a comprehensive approach. we have approach that invests nearly $40 billion in border protection, where you got parties to come together. the congress needs to act. instead of wringing our hands about the presidential action, congress needs to pass a bill. we have a bill that's been on the table for a year and half in the house. i believe that if the speaker would put it on the floor it would actually pass. we would deal with this issue in a comprehensive way. we need to move forward. if my republican friends want to work in bipartisan way in finding common ground, we're already almost there with comprehensive immigration reform, all we have to do is pass it know we'll all be watching. senator effect hill 'tis and peters good to have you here. we'll be right back.
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